The Lubbock Independent School District is starting a new pilot program to give kids an advantage once they start kindergarten, but it comes with a price tag. The program will be the first public, tuition-based Pre-K in this region.
In the past, Texas public schools were not allowed to charge tution for Pre-K programs, but with legislation sponsored by Senator Duncan a number of months ago, that has all changed.
"It's very similar to what headstart has done, but for those students they have to qualify with socio-economic factors," explains LISD Public Information Director, Nancy Sharp.
Starting March 29th through April 1st, parents who don't qualify for headstart, can sign up with LISD to put their kids in the S.O.A.R program. That stands for Students Obtaining Academic Richness.
"Research has shown children who get an early start have success all the way into high school years. It's the difference of getting an early start and getting exposed to not just reading, writing, arithmetic, but to social skills and things children need to learn about," adds Sharp.
The program costs $370 per month for ten months, but Sharp says that's comparable to daycare costs.
"It is just a wonderful enviroment and they would get so much just having a certified teacher and actual curriculum," adds Sharp.
S.O.A.R. is open to any family who is interested, they just need a birth certificate showing their child will be four years old by September 1st.
"There's been such overwhelming interest in this we feel like we're going to have more than 20 per class. In that case we'll have a random selection," explains Sharp.
Right now only sixty children will be accepted into three programs. One at Murfee Elementary, one at Waters and one at Whiteside. Sign ups start at each of those schools and at the LISD Central Office Tuesday and run through next Friday. Anyone who is not selected can choose to be on a waiting list.
The children will go to school for a full-day. School will start at 7:45 a.m. and end at 3:00 p.m. Daycare after 3:00 p.m. will be available, but at an extra costs.
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